Press Conference, January 8, 1926

Date: January 8, 1926

Location: Washington, D.C.

(Original document available here)

I haven’t arrived at any final decision about a successor to Mr. Lissner and Mr. Haney. There have been some recommendations made. They are under investigation. No final decision has been made.

I don’t know of any amended appeal in the Tacna-Arica case. It is barely possible that some amendment has been filed at the State Department, but as I have had no notice of it I think it is very improbable. The Secretary of State was speaking to me this morning about the briefs coming in tomorrow. I am sure that if at that time, which was after 11:00 o’clock, any amendment had been filed, he would have mentioned it to me.

No final decision has been made about a successor to General Pershing, either temporary or permanent. We have a list of a dozen or fifteen names under consideration. No final decision has been made.

I don’t know enough about the details of the fiscal relation between the District of Columbia and the Federal Government to make comment on it that would be helpful. About as far as I could go would be to express the very general principle that I should like to see something that was fair to both parties, and I should think that it could be arranged by a careful canvass of what the apparent needs are here in relation to the Federal Government and the apparent needs in relation to the citizens of the District, finding what expenditures are made for the benefit of each and then making an apportionment accordingly. That would need the consideration of a good many different elements. I haven’t those before me, but it seems as though something on that plan could be worked out, and no doubt that is the basis of the present arrangement.

Nothing has come to me about Porto Rico recently. I don’t know of any indication that Governor Towner is thinking of resigning.

There are no new developments about the appointment of a United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. There are some things that are being worked out in relation to that which I think is satisfactory .

I haven’t any information other than that which is general about differences of opinion among members of the Tariff Commission. I knew they had differences of opinion about procedure and so on, because when reports come to me there is oftentimes a divided opinion about matters of policy and matters of procedure. I don’t know that it is anything more than what would be expected from a board that is made up, according to law, of what might be expected to be two somewhat conflicting elements, one taking one view of the tariff and the other another view.

I should doubt very much the advisability of making any loans by the United States Government for the development of American controlled rubber plantations by lending money to the planters. I should think that would not be a very wise policy. It would not be thought of except in the case of great emergency. I am not very much in favor of direct loans of that kind. I want to get as far out of that policy as I can. I don’t know of any proposed plantings that would require anything of that kind. The men that are in the rubber business in this country and are the users of rubber, are men of resources and undoubtedly able to secure adequate private capital.

Here is a question that shows how small a matter may start quite a large story, which I suppose is to the advantage of the newspapermen. Governor and Mrs. Sproul have been friends of Mrs. Coolidge and myself for some years. I was Governor at the same time that he was. I have been entertained at his house two or three times at Chester and visited him at the Executive Mansion at Harrisburg. We have kept up that friendship, and he usually comes down and makes a visit once or twice a year. So I have invited them to come down, reaching here tomorrow, and I suppose they will stay over Sunday. The only significance that the visit has is that which I have indicated. I don’t imagine that he has any views he wants to express to me about the sesquicentennial, though I should be glad to hear any views he may have in relation to that or any other matter affecting Philadelphia or Pennsylvania.

Here is a question about the holding of the Army and Navy game at Chicago next fall. We have constantly invitations extended to the students at the Naval Academy and the Military Academy at West Point to go and take part in different celebrations. It was the policy developed under Secretary Weeks to do that as little as possible. I think there was a good deal of pressure brought on me to have some or both of them sent up to the celebration at Cambridge last year. As I recall it, we weren’t able to send any up there. There may have been a few. I don’t know but what it was more in relation to the celebration at Concord and Lexington, and as I recall it we didn’t send any there. The difficulty about sending the young men out is this – they attend these academies for the purpose of securing an education in military and naval matters, and those are intricate and technical and difficult subjects to master, and unless they stay at the academies and give their time and attention pretty carefully to their work they don’t get the training that i s necessary. Now, I should like, personally, very much to have the members of the naval and army football teams go to Chicago or go to any other place where they can without unreasonable interference with their school days. I don’t know enough about the length of time that it would take and the period that would be necessary to be away from the Academies to express a settled conviction now as to whether it would be feasible or not. Undoubtedly it wouldn’t be feasible if they were to make a long journey. It might be once in a while. Of course it would be of interest to the people of Chicago and the surrounding territory to see the Army and Navy game, and undoubtedly of some value. But practically the whole of the academies attend, both those that are on the team and those that are not, so I should want to advise with the Departments of War and Navy before making a final decision about it. I should be very much gratified if they said they thought it wouldn’t be unwarranted interference with their studies.

I have the new draft of the railroad bill. It came to my desk this morning. I haven’t been able to go over it, but so far as it has been explained to me on the part of the interested railroad interests and on the part of the interested employee’s interests, I seem to be in harmony with the principle of it. There is one thing that I am of course solicitous about, and that is that it should be so drawn as to give adequate protection to the public interest. The great thing about the measure is the fact that the employees and the managers have been able by a series of conferences to reach an agreement. I think that is a most significant fact in our industrial life, that both sides have sat down and understood that if either side was able to force through legislation that was not approved by the other side there would be difficulty in getting the legislation carried into effect; whereas if they agree on a bill and are both committed to it they will work in harmony to make a success. Some of the manufacturing interests want to confer with me about that. I am going to see them the first part of the week. They may have some new light on what they think the public interests require.

I haven’t made any final decision about going to Indianapolis on January 28th, though I told the committee that came in to see me I couldn’t give them much encouragement about it, and I don’t see any chance at all that I can go to the baseball dinner in New York on the 2nd of February. Whatever tine I can give up to baseball, I think I ought to give it up by attendance on the games, rather than trying to encourage baseball during the winter season.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents 

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Chip Ross who prepared this document for digital publication.

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